Yeah, I told you that I was gonna review Crysis, well, turns out I stumbled upon this game and instantly get addicted to it. So I felt like I need to review it and tell the world how good this game is.

Developer: Runic Games
Designer: Travis Baldree
Composer: Matt Uelmen
Platform: PC
Release date: October 27, 2009
Genre: Action RPG
Multi-player: No
In the fantasy world that serves as the setting of Torchlight, Ember is a mysterious ore which has the power to imbue people and items with magical power. A mining town called Torchlight is built above a rich vein of Ember, and adventurers are drawn there seeking the magical substance and the enchanted items it creates. However, as the player character explores the dungeons below Torchlight, they discover that Ember has a corrupting influence which led to the fall of past civilizations and endangers those who use it in the present. Discovering that the dungeon are layers of ruined civilizations, the player must delve deep below and eventually face the villain who is the source of the corruption

(buy the game, it only cost $20 and 500 MB of your bandwidth!)


Torchlight: Mini Diablo

Well, I’ve only played this game for several hours, using Destroyer class (a barbarian-like class), so my review will be based on that, though I’ve tried using Alchemist class a bit until the first boss fight (and they’re both fun to play). Anyway, let’s begin my review of Torchlight, one of the latest Diablo clone,  and a successful one, if I may add.

Dungeons of Estheria

Yep, that's my level 16 destroyer against, uh, Devilscratcher?

Wow. Simply wow. I must say, I would never expect me to get this addicted to a $20-priced, 500 MB sized game like this. The whole game is awesome, and really reminds me of Diablo. Much like Diablo, you start the game by choosing your class, and without further ado, you can quicky goes to the dungeon and start hacking away all those monsters. Again, like Diablo, you can simply attack the enemies by clicking your mouse and uses your skill with your mouse right button. So yeah, it really is a clone of diablo, from it’s looting system, levelling system, to it’s quest system, and of course it also has a fun, fast-paced combat like Diablo. Basically, Torchlight takes everything good from Diablo and put it in a new game with a cartoonish look. You would find yourself wasting hours of your life hacking monsters in the dungeon, because the battle is simple, and not to mention that most enemy dies with one or two hits from you, leaving you wanting to kill more monsters

Unlike Diablo though, this one has a pet that will follow you from the start of the game. I’m actually impressed with the usefulness of this pet, it is strong enough to be able to withstand your fight against most monsters in the game. And you can make it has extra effect (like faster, etc) with a simple fish that you can fish in some spot in the dungeon. The AI is so good that you can just leave things to it, and everything will still be fine. Too bad you can’t control your pet and summons action though, that’s what made me stop playing alchemist go for destroyer instead, but hey, they worked hard on the AI, so I guess they want to show it off to us.

Mine dungeon

TIP: Use the alchemist class if you want a colorful fight

To be honest, at first I was not interested in this game, I thought it’s just another attempt at copying Diablo (before Diablo 3 actually comes out). Everything changed when I saw the screenshot, I’m instantly hooked on the cartoonish graphic style, so I decided to give it a try, and it doesn’t disappoint me, it really delivers a colorful, vibrant, cartoonish yet detailed graphic style. Though when I delve deeper into the dungeon, it worries me when the tileset doesn’t change from the mine-themed one. Fortunately, there are variations in the theme after a few levels, like castle theme, or mayan ruin theme so you won’t get bored.

Talk about map, I also got a bit worried when I read that the dungeons are randomly generated, but once again, this game quickly cast my doubt away. Despite being randomly generated, the dungeons felt like they are hand-drawn, and it’s really rare that you ever see two similar room. The game doesn’t stop on that, it also provides lever that activates bridge, dynamites that blow open blocked way, 2-levels structure, even a secret door on the wall! Seems like the developer has worked hard on the map generator, and it does pay off.


Not just carrying, your pet can even sell your item to merchants!

One thing I don’t really like from Diablo is the loot. There are so many loot in it, that I only can hunt for a short time before my backpack is full. Then I have to get back to town to sell them before I can resume killing those monsters, it’s so annoying and detracting from the real fun. Luckily, Torchlight provides us with a simple solution that works wonder. We can simply put items we want to sell on our pet, and with the push of a button, it would go back to town and sell our items, no matter where we are at the dungeon. It’s an awesome system that let you keep crawling the dungeon without making the whole game broken, as you still need to get back to town to activate quest and the likes.

The equipment system is similar to Diablo where you can just equip everything, as long as you can fulfill the requirements. So, you can easily have a Destroyer that uses guns, or you can have a dual-wielding Alchemist. Yeah, the game really support you if you want to go hybrid, as the classes in the game has similar skill set, they all has armor and weapon mastery, some offensive spell, and all of them even have some summoning ability. Depends on your taste, this could either be a good thing, or a bad thing.

Classes in Torchlight

Oh, and the other class is destroyer, your typical barbarian.

Anyway, about class, you’ve got only 3 classes you can choose at the start of the game, Destroyer, warrior/barbarian kind of class, Vanquisher, a rogue-like class, and Alchemist, a cross between necromancer and magician class. Oh, and actually, not just class, those three also serve as characters you can choose, as you can’t change their actual look, only their equipment look. But aside from that, you don’t have any limitation on what you can customize.

Another bad point is the story. Well, you can’t say the story is bad, it’s just kind of generic, seems like the story is just something they added later. But I like how they explain the change of scenery in the dungeon, you won’t be left wondering why suddenly there are stone bridges and stairs at the bottom of a mine. This story is served via quest, and I think they are far more cohesive than the ones in Diablo, where you don’t understand why you accepted the quest. And the sidequest are nice too, no “kill X number of Y monsters”, only “kill boss monster on dungeon floor X” or “find X item on floor Y”, and since you would explore the whole dungeon, it’s easy to complete those quest, you won’t get sidetracked from the fun.

The Town of Torchlight

This is Torchlight, though you'll be finding much of your time in the dungeon

Last thing, check the out screenshot above. Notice that the NPC on the bottom left has no shadow, and the character’s shadow doesn’t follow the source of light, and no, it’s not a bug, I played it on my notebook, so I have to turns the shadow setting down. It’s another awesome thing from this game, it doesn’t require any high end hardware requirement, heck, it even has a netbook mode! All in all, with a cheap price tag and a small size, this is a game that every Action RPG lover must have.


  • Addictive
  • Really addictive
  • Fun. fast-paced combat
  • Cheap and small-sized
  • Story is shallow
  • Only 3 classes

Final Rating: 9/10
I wonder if I’ll give this a 10/10 if it comes with an awesome story…


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